MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 1, 2022
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:22 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz and Jose Medrano, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer McCann (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Mayor and Council meeting of July 18, 2022. Mr. Herz moved to approve minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of July 18 2022, was seconded by Mr. Medrano and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that operating funds on hand was $2,007,619.99.
Mayor Foster asked for a motion to pay the bills. Mr. Herz moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. O’Brien and carried unanimously.
Mr. O’Brien asked if the dump truck purchased through ARPA was paid for upfront, as the bills seemed to indicate, and that it would not be received until 2024. Mr. Ingersoll said that he thought the proposed purchase was to be two dump trucks and not one. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would find out the answer to the question from Ms. Miller but pointed out that the Town did not make up front payments on goods not provided and he did not recall one of the magnitude mentioned ($307,000) being made. He suggested that if the Council had specific questions concerning the materials given to them before meeting, that they not hesitate to contact the office for clarification.
Mr. Herz stated that he would like to see the capital funds set aside in a separate fund and shown at the bottom of the page.
Mr. Herz stated that KRM had been on the agenda to discuss a grant funding request for Phase II of the Dixon Complex. He said that Ms. Williams (Kent County Economic Development) was going to apply for the grant, and he was asked by her to work with Mr. Matthews to make sure that the grant was finished on time. Though they thought the grant deadline was sometime in September it was actually due on July 5. Mr. Herz stated that the project has been moved along to the Kent County Commissioners for a slate of projects to be approved, but KRM was requesting that the Council submit a letter of support to Kent County on behalf of the project. Mr. Herz moved to authorize a letter of support to the Kent County Commissioners for Phase II of the Dixon Valve business project., was seconded by Mr. O’Brien and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that there have been discussions about storage for kayaks and canoes at the Marina and Mr. Ed Hugler was present requesting that the Town to consider a proposal to install some racks, adding that it is an affordable option and provides easy access to the river.
Mayor Foster stated that he thought Mr. Bogden’s compromise on the fence at the Wilmer Park playground was a good idea and asked if the Council was ready for a vote. He said that he thought someone from the Recreation Commission would be present at the meeting as they had requested a vote on the matter at the present meeting.
Mr. O’Brien moved to table the vote on the fence at Wilmer Park and the Kayak Racks until the second meeting in August when a representative of the Recreation Commission was present, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Chester RiverArts was having a reception at their offices on Friday, August 12th and had requested an open container waiver from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (the duration of the event) in the sidewalk in front of their building. Mr. Herz moved to approve the open container waiver as submitted for Friday, August 12th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Medrano and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Special Olympics Kayaking Events will be held on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th, with the State Championships being held the following weekend. A request was made for permission to use the Wilmer Park and parking lot for both events. Mr. Herz moved to approve the Special Olympics Kayaking Events as outlined in the permit request, was seconded by Mr. Medrano and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a request from Washington College CES for an Earth Day Music Festival using the Wilmer Park for vendors on the afternoon of Saturday, April 22nd. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this was submitted a few weeks ago, but he had asked for the input from the Environmental Committee on the Earth Day event. The Council discussed the application and its activities.
Mr. O’Brien moved to approve the music festival by CES as submitted and was seconded by Mr. Medrano. The motion failed with two in favor (Mr. Medrano and Mr. O’Brien) and two opposed (Mr. Herz and Mayor Foster). Mayor Foster stated that he would reach out to the CES and ask they collaborate with the Environmental Committee.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he tried to contact Monica Graves regarding the plaque for Charlie Graves and the Uptown Club and they will be meeting on Monday, August 8th (when she returns from vacation). He said that another plaque was planned for Garnett Elementary.
Mr. Herz asked if there was a plan for future signage. John Queen was present and said that the community has been patient and he wanted to know when the sign for Charlie Graves is going into the ground. He said that there was a goal to have 6 to 8 signs in total and they are being paid for by John Queen, Karen Somerville, or other private donors. There is a plaque for Emma Miller that will be placed at Garnett Elementary School. Mr. Queen stated that they were still working in the community and on some plaques that would not really have anything to do with the Town.
Mayor Foster offered to meet with Mr. Queen to discuss the closeout of Chestertown Unites Against Racism.
Ms. Elizabeth Watson was present to discuss the Strategic Plan and said that 30 or so queries were sent out already to different local agencies. She planned to send out about 20 more.She said that she was meeting with commissions and committees to gain information on priorities for the Town. Mayor Foster stated that he would like to see Ms. Watson ask about missed opportunities or barriers that are seen in the community as well.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were continued failures with curbside recycling. The initial problem was that there was too much product being left out going back to the time when Infinity went out of business. He said that he spoke with the hauler today, who told him he had a minor heart attack earlier in the week, which is why he was unable to pickup on Friday. The contractor said that he was back to working now and had promised to come to Town and pick up some during the week. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this service has to improve, and he said that he was also working on a convenient igloo location in town.
Mayor Foster asked for ward reports.
Mr. O’Brien stated that he had his questions answered during the meeting.
Mr. Herz stated that all was well in Ward 2. He said that he was still working on a hurricane preparedness meeting.
Mr. Medrano stated that Brookmeadow I is now completely vacant, and work is underway on the renovation.
Mr. Medrano stated that liability is too great for the residents to connect the trail from Coventry Farms to Washington Park because of the proximity of the stormwater pond when using its dam. He also thought that maintenance and upkeep could be too expensive. Mr. Ingersoll stated that neither community would want to bear the brunt of the costs or liability and would expect it to be publicly owned. Mayor Foster stated that he would like to see further discussion by the Town and ways to take over the trail. Mayor Foster and Mr. O’Brien stated that they would like to walk the trail as it exits. Mayor Foster stated that there has to be a way to stay clear of the pond.
Ms. Carol Niemand stated that there was a problem on Rolling Road regarding truck traffic cutting through and speeding. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he will ask the Police Chief to look at the area for several days to determine the origin, destination and size of the trucks. Mayor Foster suggested that the speed monitor be placed in that area as well.
There being no further business, Mr. Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:12 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Medrano and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer McCann David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor